merrycaepa: (Default)
I'm of two minds on this.

So on the one hand, I really want to like the FCKH8 video/message. I like that the video is cute, snappy, and in your face, yet also very accurate. And little kids dropping the f-bomb is always cute (until, I suspect, one has kids of their own). And I kinda want a FCKH8 t-shirt, because it's a message I support.

Or is it?

I have two primary objections. The first is the one that comes up every time some clever enterprising young group makes a slogan and a t-shirt, which is that it's very hip and influential inside the echo chamber, but frankly is going win neither hearts nor minds because it's so insulting to the minds it's supposedly trying to change. It makes Us feel good about how stupid They are, which unfortunately accomplishes very little aside from widening the gulf between the two. And while I fully understand the impulse to yell in their faces until something sinks in, I also know that most people who oppose gay marriage don't do it out of the desire to passionately hate someone (well, one or two might); it's because they're afraid, irrationally or otherwise, and telling them they're stupid for being afraid is not going to make anyone unafraid
 
Furthermore, I find it frankly kind of disturbing when a term that is frequently associated with sexual violence is used in a 'positive' light. "Fuck X" (for whatever values of x) exists very much on the rape spectrum; it's threat of sexual violence whether to an object or concept ("Fuck algebra" / "Fuck that algebra test") or to a person ("Fuck Christine O'Donnell"). And I'm not comfortable with even implicitly condoning the idea of sexual violence.

But...I have a mouth like a drunken sailor on the fourth day of a three-day pass. I am hardly one to talk about inappropriate or threatening language, because I use it all the fucking time (take a look at my prior posts, for example). Maybe it's that the video pretty much screamed it repeatedly? Maybe it's because I find that level of vehemence tied to sexually violent language disturbing no matter the subject.

Is "Fuck X" as an expletive statement something that's lost its original meaning? Has it become a "reclaimed" word, like bitch or dyke - something I am comfortable using in reference to myself, and perhaps to people close to me that I know very well, but is completely unacceptable for those outside that circle?



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merrycaepa

January 2011

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